SFARI presentations at INSAR 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting

Image of Elise Robinson
Elise Robinson is an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Virtual 2021 Annual Meeting was held May 3–7, 2021. A selection of presentations by SFARI Investigators, SFARI staff and collaborators are highlighted below.

INSAR 2021 was also the 20th anniversary of the first annual meeting (formerly the International Meeting for Autism Research, IMFAR). To celebrate this milestone, INSAR staff conducted video interviews and collected written reflections from past INSAR Board and Committee Members, Lifetime Achievement Awardees, as well as INSAR Fellows.

Virtual content from the annual meeting program will be available on-demand until the first week of June 2021. To view this content, you must have registered as a meeting participant. The 20th anniversary recorded interviews are freely available to all.


Panel presentation:
Cross-disorder dosage sensitivity mapping in the human genome
R.L. Collins, H. Brand and M.E. Talkowski

Poster presentation:
Integrated analysis of 28,642 individuals recruited online identifies new ASD risk genes and highlights the interplay of de novo and inherited variants*1
P. Feliciano, X. Zhou, T. Wang, J.B. Hall, S.C. Murali, N. Zhu, S. Bruce, I. Astrovskaya, L. Brueggeman, J.R. Wright, S. Xu, O. Marchenko, C. Fleisch, T.S. Chang, L. Green Snyder, T.N. Turner, B. Han, W. Harvey, A. Nishida, S.D. Barns, R.N. Doan, A. Soucy, SPARK Consortium, B.J. O’Roak, T. Yu, D. Geschwind, J. Michaelson, N. Volfovsky, E.E. Eichler, Y. Shen and W.K. Chung

Panel presentation:
Genetics and ASD heterogeneity
E.B. Robinson, C.E. Carey, S.S. Kuo, J. Taylor, C. van der Merwe and D. Weiner

Panel presentation:
Large-scale gene discovery in autism and comparison to schizophrenia and developmental delay*1

F.K. Satterstrom, J. Fu, H. Brand, S. Dong, S. De Rubeis, X. Zhao, R.L. Collins, C.E. Carey, C. van der Merwe, C. Stevens, C. Cusick, D.E. Dickel, L.A. Pennacchio, L. Klei, A.D. Borglum, E.B. Robinson, D.J. Cutler, J.D. Buxbaum, M.J. Daly, K. Roeder, B. Devlin, S.J. Sanders and M.E. Talkowski

Oral presentation:
New insights into the genomic architecture underlying autism spectrum disorder from a comprehensive analysis of over 20,000 whole-genome sequences
B. Trost, B. Thiruvahindrapuram, M. Zarrei, E.J. Higginbotham, J. Howe, W. Engchuan, D. Roshandel, A. Chan, M. Reuter, L. Loureiro, L. D’Abate, J. Whitney, R.V. Patel, T. Nalpathamkalam, G. Pellecchia, J. Wei, O. Hamdan, Z. Wang, S. Lamoureux, B. Kellam, M. Bookman, J. Fuerth, J. Noppornpitak, H. Ward, P. Magee, M. Fiume, V. Seifer, M. Quirbach, R.K. Yuen, J. Sebat, L.J. Strug, A.D. Paterson, N. Hoang, O. Rennie, D.G. Amaral, M.S. Lewis, M. Elsabbagh, B. Fernandez, I.M. Smith, L. Zwaigenbaum, E. Anagnostou, J. Vorstman, N. Sondheimer, T.W. Frazier, D. Glazer, D. Hartley and S.W. Scherer

Poster presentation:
Return of individual genetics results in the largest recontactable cohort of people with autism*1

J.R. Wright, S.D. Barns, J.B. Hall, S. Ganesan, B. Han, C. Diggins, T. Greene, SPARK Consortium, N. Volfovsky, P. Feliciano and W.K. Chung

Molecular Mechanisms

Special interest group:
Autism research with the postmortem brain*2

Chair: D.G. Amaral

Panel presentation:
High-throughput single-cell functional elucidation of neurodevelopmental disease-associated genes reveals convergent mechanisms altering neuronal differentiation
M.A. Lalli, D. Avey, J. Dougherty, J. Milbrandt and R. Mitra

Panel presentation:
Neurons-on-a-chip to model ASD
N. Nadif Kasri

Panel presentation:
Functional convergence across genes associated with neuropsychiatric disorders
S.J. Sanders and J.Y.Y. An

Panel presentation:
CRISPR activation to rescue SCN2A haploinsufficiency in autism spectrum disorder
S. Tamura, P.W. Spratt, A. Nelson, S.J. Sanders, K.J. Bender and N. Ahituv

Panel presentation:
Transcriptomic investigation of intersections between sex-differential and ASD neurobiology in pre- and postnatal human cortex 
D.M. Werling, L.T. Kissel, S. Pochareddy, N. Sestan, K. Roeder, B. Devlin and S.J. Sanders

Panel presentation:
Parallel in vivo analysis of large-effect autism genes implicates neurogenesis and estrogen in risk and resilience
H.R. Willsey, C.R. Exner, Y. Xu, A. Everitt, N. Sun, T. Nowakowski, R.M. Harland, A.J. Willsey and M.W. State

Circuits, Cognition & Behavior

Panel presentation:
Brain response to GABAB receptor modulation with arbaclofen in adults with and without ASD
G.M. McAlonan, Q. Huang, A.C. Pereira, S. Leaman, H.E. Velthuis, N.M. Wong, C.L. Ellis, M. Dimitrov, M.F. Ponteduro, D. Batalle, J. Ahmad, D. Murphy and E. Daly

Oral presentation:
Testing candidate cerebellar presymptomatic biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder
Z. Hawks, A. Todorov, T. Nishino, M. Talovic, N. Marrus, M.B. Nebel, S. Davis, S. Marek, B. Seitzman, A. Eggebrecht, J.T. Elison, S.R. Dager, M.W. Mosconi, L. Tychsen, A. Snyder, K. Botteron, A.M. Estes, A.C. Evans, G. Gerig, H. Hazlett, R.C. McKinstry, J. Pandey, R.T. Schultz, M. Styner, J.J. Wolff, L. Zwaigenbaum, J. Piven and J.R. Pruett

Panel presentation:
Genetic and environmental influences on brain structure in twins with autism
J.P. Hegarty, J.C. Monterrey, L.C. Lazzeroni, S.C. Cleveland, J.M. Phillips, J.F. Hallmayer and A.Y. Hardan

Panel presentation:
The N170 face-sensitive brain response: Toward a stratification biomarker for ASD
E.J. Jones, L. Mason, C. Moessnang, C.H. Chatham, L. Ham, J. Tillmann, G. Dumas, C.L. Ellis, C. Leblond, F. Cliquet, T. Bourgeron, T. Charman, J.K. Buitelaar, E. Loth, M. Johnson, D. Murphy and LEAP Group EU-AIMS

Panel presentation:
Tactile perception as a potential target for GABAergic intervention in neurodevelopmental disorders
N.A. Puts, J.L. He, G. Oeltzschner, E. Wodka, R.A. Edden and S.H. Mostofsky

Panel presentation:
GABAB gating of perceptual awareness during binocular rivalry
C. Robertson, J. Mentch, A. Spiegel and C. Ricciardi

Panel presentation:
A framework for EEG biomarker development: The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials
S.J. Webb, J. McPartland and C. Sugar


Panel presentation:
Clinical trial design for evaluating arbaclofen in children and adolescents with ASD
C. Arango, M. Parellada, M. Palmer, V. Parlatini, A. San Jose Caceres, R. Delorme, E.J. Jones, J.R. Parr, E. Anagnostou, D. Murphy, E. Loth, P. Wang, T. Charman, A. Strydom, S. Antoun, A. Blázquez Hinojosa, T. Bourgeron, M. Burdeus, C.H. Chatham, R. Calvo Escalona, T. Del Bianco, S. Hydros, E. Huijsman, F. Kaguelidou, A. Kaushik, M.L. Lazaro, M. Lindemann, L. Mason, M. Megalogeni, F. Mgaieth, A. Moscoso, D. Nobbs, M. Punukollu, P. Shah, P. Singappuli, A.C. Stanfield, M. Slot, E. Urbiola, K. Walton-Bowen, I. Winter-van Rossum, A. Ulloa, J. Castro-Fornieles, M. Carnicer and L. Sipos-Galvez

Panel presentation:
Negative impact and predictors of psychological distress for autistic adults across the early weeks of the pandemic*1
V.H. Bal, E. Wilkinson, C. White-Lehman, K. Law, P. Feliciano and W.K. Chung

Panel presentation:
Computational approaches to the assessment of early motor behavior in autism
G. Dawson, K.L. Carpenter, Z. Chang, J.M. Di Martino, S. Espinosa, S. Perochon, P.R. Krishnappa Babu and G. Sapiro

Oral presentation:
Investigating early sex differences in language in infants at increased familial risk of autism spectrum disorders
J.M. Hampton, T. St. John, C.A. Burrows, R. Grzadzinski, J. Parish-Morris, L. MacIntyre, S. Torres-Gomez, J.T. Elison, K. Botteron, S.R. Dager, A.M. Estes, H. Hazlett, R.T. Schultz, L. Zwaigenbaum, J. Piven, J.N. Constantino, N. Marrus and the IBIS Network

Oral presentation:
Clinical characteristics of autistic youth in the SPARK cohort with a co-occurring schizophrenia diagnosis*1
A. Jutla and J. Veenstra-VanderWeele

Poster presentation:
Coping strategies and service needs of autistic adults in the SPARK cohort during the COVID-19 pandemic*1
N. Nagpal, S. Xiao, K. Diehl, A. Daniels, K. Law, C. White-Lehman, P. Feliciano, SPARK Consortium and W.K. Chung

Panel presentation:
Relating eye-tracking data quality, data quantity, and phenotypic heterogeneity in ASD
A. Naples, A.R. Levin, G. Dawson, R.A. Bernier, S. Jeste, C.A. Nelson, K. Chawarska, C. Sugar, M. Murias, H. Seow, S.J. Webb, S. Faja, D. Senturk, J. Dziura, J. McPartland and F. Shic

Panel presentation:
Using biomarkers to characterize neurobiological deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders: A case study in TSC, Rett syndrome, 16p and fragile X syndrome
C.A. Nelson

Panel presentation:
Mapping the time course of emotion dysregulation and challenging behaviors in psychiatrically hospitalized youth with autism spectrum disorder*3
J.B. Northrup, M.S. Goodwin, Q. Chen, C. Peura, M. Siegel and C.A. Mazefsky

Oral presentation:
Predictors of regression and its impact on subsequent communication development in children with autism
A. Pickles, N.J. Wright, R. Bedford, M. Steiman, E. Duku, P. Mirenda, T. Bennett, S. Georgiades, I. M. Smith, C.M. Kerns, W.J. Ungar, T. Vaillancourt, C. Waddell, A. Zaidman-Zait, L. Zwaigenbaum, P. Szatmari and M. Elsabbagh

Panel presentation:
Scalable computational behavioral phenotyping for the assessment of attention and gaze in autism
G. Sapiro, Z. Chang, J.M. Di Martino and G. Dawson

Lifetime achievement award and keynote presentation:
H. Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D.

Panel presentation:
Job loss predicts worsening depressive symptoms for young adults with autism: A COVID-19 natural experiment
J.L. Taylor, R. Adams, F. Pezzimenti, S. Zheng and S. Bishop

Oral presentation:
Measurement of subcategories of restricted and repetitive behaviors across age and intellectual functioning in a large ASD sample
J. Tillmann, S. Ueckert, H. Baumann, F. Bolognani, T. Charman, C.H. Chatham, X. Chen, D.V. Crawley, D.W. Evans, T.W. Frazier, A.Y. Hardan, E. Hollander, M. Kjellson, E. Loth, D.S. Murray, L. Murtagh, M. Uljarevic, P. Wang and J.F. Hipp

Panel presentation:
The Crisis-Afar International Network: Preliminary results on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in children with autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions
B. Vibert, P. Segura, L. Gallagher, S. Georgiades, P. Pervanidou, A. Thurm, L. Alexander, E. Anagnostou, Y. Aoki, S. Aoki, S. Bishop, J. Boi, C. Bravaccio, M.P. Canevini, A. Carta, A. Costantino, E.A. Cravo, C. Davico, J. Fujino, C. Geyer, T. Hirota, M. Kawashima, S.M. Kanne, S.H. Kim, Y.S. Kim, H.H. Kim, D. Korczak, M.C. Lai, B.L. Leventhal, Y. Makiyama, L. Margari, G. Masi, L. Mazzone, J. McGrath, P. Morosini, S.L. Nakajima, A. Narzisi, Y. Noda, K. Nowell, M. Polizzi, J. Portolese, M.P. Riccio, M. Saito, A.K. Simhal, M. Siracusano, S. Sotgiu, J. Stroud, F. Sumiya, I.V.D. Schwartz, M. Tarica, Y. Tachibana, T.N. Takahashi, H. Tamon, R. Tancredi, L. Turacchi, B. Vitiello, A. Zuddas, K. Merikangas, M.P. Milham and A. Di Martino

Poster presentation:
Predictors of perceived stress among independent adults with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic*1
S. Xiao, N. Nagpal, A. Daniels, K. Law, C. White-Lehman, P. Feliciano, SPARK Consortium and W.K. Chung

INSAR 20th Anniversary

Recorded interviews with a number of SFARI Investigators to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the INSAR Annual Meeting (including David Amaral, Ph.D., Jacqueline Crawley, Ph.D., Connie Kasari, Ph.D., Cathy Lord, Ph.D., James McPartland, Ph.D., Bob Schultz, Ph.D. and Helen Tager-Flusberg, Ph.D.) are available here.

* Uses data and/or resources from 1SPARK, 2 Autism BrainNet, 3Autism Inpatient Collection.

Recent News